Why Crystals Aren’t Just for Hippies Anymore

Delving into the craze with L.A.-based designer Adina Mills

Crystal jewelry was once the province of kimono-wearing dudes who reeked of Nag Champa. Nowadays you’re more likely to see raw crystals weighing down waifish models on runways; luxury brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Lanvin have incorporated the stones into their jewelry collections.

Hippie chic has been enjoying its moment of late, but for some the lure of crystals never went away. Take Adina Mills, who has used crystals in her collections for years. “A lot of my clients want to know the properties of the stones—what heals what,” says Mills, who favors apophyllite, fluorite, tourmaline, and quartz. “You can always look that stuff up in a book. I feel truly connected to the stones on a deeper level.”

At least a halfdozen jewelry lines based in Los Angeles focus on the crystals, including Androgyny Designs, Unearthen, and As Above, So Below. Mills, who grew up in North Hollywood in the ’80s amid L.A.’s graffiti and hip-hop scene, characterizes her jewelry as “urban meets organic.” (Lena Dunham is a fan.) She finds many of her gems in Arizona. “I try to keep them as raw as possible,” she says. Her rings feature giant shards encased in branchlike settings made of spray-painted clay; substantial obelisk pendants dangle from woven cotton and nylon ropes or from vintage brass chains. Beyond any reputed healing powers the stones have, Mills says, “people are trying to feel connected to nature in a world that’s becoming increasingly separate from it.” » Adina Mills jewelry is available at Roseark, West Hollywood, 323-822-3600 or adinamills.com